IAPMO Group hires VP

John WatsonJohn Watson The IAPMO Group hired John Watson as vice president of industry relations and business development. Watson has more than 30 years of plumbing industry experience in product development and compliance management. Prior to joining IAPMO, he was the senior manager of compliance and sustainability for Elkay Mfg. Before that, he was the director of water efficiency and technical services for Sloan Valve. He also held several positions at Chicago Faucet, where he started in engineering and completed his tenure in operations.

“John is well-known and respected in the industry, and his manufacturing experience will serve IAPMO well in our efforts to further enhance and solidify our relationships with customers,” IAPMO Executive Vice President of Industry Relations and Business Development Lee Mercer said.

Watson earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration and management from Elmhurst University and an associate of applied science degree in engineering design/drafting from Triton College, both in suburban Chicago.

He is involved in multiple professional volunteer associations, serving on the ASME A112 Main Committee, the ASME/CSA Joint Harmonization Task Group (JHTG) for plumbing products, and several ASME working groups, and is a member at large of the KCMA A161.1 Standards Committee. He is also a past board member of Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) and served on several Water Quality Association (WQA) committees when he was active in the WQA.

“I’m happy to be part of the IAPMO team, where I plan to use my knowledge in product compliance, engineering and manufacturing to bolster industry initiatives and client services that provide added value,” Watson said. “I’m looking forward to continuing my work within the industry, albeit from a slightly different perspective, but with the same intent of providing insight and value to this wonderful industry.”

Rheem’s Fitzgerald retires

John FitzgeraldJohn FitzgeraldRheem announced the retirement of John Fitzgerald from his role as executive vice president of operations. “Fitz” joined Rheem in 2016 and brought more than 30 years of diverse experience from several industries. 

Fitzgerald led many different teams and functions throughout his career at Rheem. His vision and leadership in brand strategy, enterprise marketing and sports marketing had a significant impact on Rheem’s brand awareness. He also oversaw business-critical functions including IT, advanced technology integration, controls engineering, procurement, and supply chain management and corporate quality.

“Fitz’s contributions to Rheem have been many, but he is perhaps most passionate about launching Rheem’s ‘A Greater Degree of Good’ global sustainability initiative in 2019,” said Chris Peel, president and CEO at Rheem. “The initiative became embedded into Rheem’s culture worldwide and changed how our company develops, manufactures, sells and supports our products.”

“A Greater Degree of Good” resulted in significant reduction of greenhouse gases and production waste and included training programs for Rheem’s installation partners, the manufacturer noted.

“I absolutely consider myself fortunate to have had the ability to work on Rheem’s sustainability program,” Fitzgerald said. “My Native American heritage has helped form many of my viewpoints and priorities that influenced my efforts. My tribe has always believed that all things in nature have their own ‘essence’ of life. This belief clearly was tied to my passion for our ‘zero waste to landfill’ and greenhouse gas reduction goals.”

Fitzgerald said that “circularity,” a key Penobscot philosophy, has influenced his viewpoints.

“This circular tendency was pivotal to our sustainability program, as you think about recycling initiatives and lifecycle analysis programs,” Fitzgerald explained. “We are trying to understand the impact of activities and products from their raw materials through the disposition at the end of its life.”

Rheem also announced the promotion of Chee Wee Gan to a new role as senior vice president, strategy and sustainability. Chee Wee joined Rheem in 2018 and will continue to drive global strategic planning for the organization while advancing global brand and sustainability initiatives. Additionally, he will continue spearheading Rheem’s global licensing strategic initiatives in his expanded role.

Rheem’s sustainability initiative is on pace to meet or exceed 2025 goals, designed to coincide with the company’s 100th anniversary, it added.

Fitzgerald’s retirement became official Jan. 1. He has planned a series of outdoor adventures such as climbing, rafting and hiking in destinations including Alaska, Utah, Colorado and Oregon.

Brown and Caldwell appoints Mid-South leader

Erin WilliamsErin Williams

Brown and Caldwell announced Erin Williams has joined the firm as vice president and leader of its growing Mid-South business. The hire emphasizes the firm’s focused expansion to better serve clients in the region’s water, wastewater and stormwater sector.

Williams brings over 17 years of extensive rehabilitation engineering design and supervising experience in public- and private-sector engineering and management roles. Her expertise encompasses separate and combined sewer collection system design, rehabilitation design utilizing trenchless technologies, stormwater management and condition assessment.

As Mid-South area leader, Williams will direct Brown and Caldwell’s Atlanta, Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis offices. She will diversify and align the firm’s environmental engineering and construction services portfolio, helping municipal and private clients meet challenges related to capital program implementation, infrastructure reliability, and effective utility management. A key responsibility includes recruiting and mentoring top talent and strengthening its brand as the place to work on the most complex environmental engineering projects as it continues its regional expansion.

Based in Atlanta, Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

SmithGroup elevates Mark Adams to lead workplace practice

Mark AdamsMark Adams

 SmithGroup, one of the nation’s largest integrated design firms, has promoted office design and interiors expert Mark Adams to lead strategy and operations for its firmwide workplace practice. Adams succeeds Lise Newman, who will be retiring from practice in the spring of 2022.

In his new role, Adams leads the firm’s practice devoted to the design of corporate and commercial facilities, including corporate headquarters and campuses, office interiors, commercial office buildings, public and civic development, hospitality, and mixed-use and multi-family residential buildings for both public and private sector clients. Adams will focus on expanding the practice’s portfolio of major headquarters, mixed-use/urban development and workplace-centered strategy and design projects. Adams was elevated from workplace studio leader at the firm’s Phoenix office.

“Real estate strategies and the design of office environments are evolving in response to recent world events,” said Mike Medici, SmithGroup’s president and managing partner. “Mark’s understanding of this rapidly changing landscape and his forward-thinking nature will serve SmithGroup well as we chart our new course to design a better future.”

Adams joined SmithGroup in 2008 and brings 33 years of experience to this position. He has been instrumental in the growth of the firm’s portfolio of notable clients, leading large-scale projects throughout the southwest and across the nation. As a recognized thought leader and author, Adams has been called upon to share his expertise as a presenter at conferences for CoreNet, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors, NeoCon, and Tradeline. He is also a regular contributor to Work Design magazine.

Danfoss recognizes Jae Chon with 2021 EnVisioneer of the Year award

Danfoss recognizes Jae ChonDanfoss has named Jae Chon, director of strategic markets at Chesapeake Systems, a Maryland-based HVAC consultant and equipment distributor, as its 12th EnVisioneer of the Year for their work on retrofitting the Towson Courthouse in Towson, Maryland. Chesapeake Systems was the project manager responsible for upgrading the courthouse’s HVAC system with a synchronized hydronic loop, utilizing Danfoss high-efficiency scroll compressors, pressure-independent control valves of various sizes, HVAC variable frequency drives and WaterFurnace’s 80-ton modular heat recovery chillers, resulting in big energy savings.

Launched in 2010, the annual EnVisioneer of the Year award competition recognizes North American original equipment manufacturers, building owners, municipalities, contractors and end-users that have introduced a new product, opened a new facility or invested in a building or system upgrade in the past 18 months using Danfoss products or solutions to realize significant energy and environmental savings.

In 2020, after unsuccessful attempts to repair the Towson Courthouse’s existing HVAC system, the Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) made the decision to replace the entire system at the recommendation of Chon. With aging air handling units and other components, the system could no longer maintain temperatures at comfortable levels; employees consistently complained about pockets of hot and cold air as well as humidity and dampness throughout the building.

The system selected included the following pieces of equipment:

  • 3 WaterFurnace 80-ton modular chillers, each with two Danfoss high-efficiency scroll compressors;
  • 52 Danfoss pressure-independent control valves of various sizes;
  • 4 Danfoss HVAC variable frequency drives installed on fan motors; and
  • 6 Armstrong Design Envelope Pumps with factory-mounted Danfoss VFDs.   

The variable speed technology on the chillers, pumps and fan motors act in concert, automatically speeding up or slowing down to adapt to the comfort needs of the building while optimizing overall system performance and efficiency. The WaterFurnace modular chillers’ heat recovery capabilities allow for simultaneous heating and cooling by recovering heat off the compressors, producing hot water with up to a combined efficiency of 8 COP. Chiller modules that are not simultaneously producing chilled and hot water operate at lower condensing temperatures to increase cooling efficiencies even further. Not only does this increase occupant comfort, but also reduces natural gas consumption and carbon emissions by only running boilers during the peak heating months.

In October and November of 2021, the building used 59% less natural gas than it did during the same months in 2019. While monthly average energy use over the new system’s first six months decreased by 23% versus 2019, total energy use was reduced by a staggering 55% in November 2021, the first month with significant heating needs. That energy reduction equates to more than $2,000 in monthly utility bill savings.

The award was presented to Jae Chon, along with representatives from the Courthouse, DGS and Chesapeake Systems, at the Courthouse on Feb. 9.

Company News

Dewberry earns excellence awards

Dewberry earns excellence awards

Dewberry, a privately held professional services firm, announced it has earned three Engineering Excellence awards from the American Council of Engineers Companies (ACEC) New York chapter. The awards will be presented during the annual gala in April 2022.

Diamond Award: City Island 20-inch Sub-Aqueous Water Mains

To improve water capacity and infrastructure resilience for City Island, the New York City Department of Design and Construction (NYCDDC) and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection selected Dewberry to design redundant, 20-inch sub-aqueous water mains, which were installed by drilling underneath the Eastchester Bay. Due to restrictions at both the launch and landing points of the trenchless technology installation, and considering parks department trees, wetlands, city streets, and seawalls that could not be disturbed, Dewberry selected a never-before-used in New York City method to directionally drill the two water mains in a compound curve. The mains would be installed in a three-dimensional compound curve through the bedrock below the waterway between the Bronx and City Island. The use of the compound curve would minimize impact and hit the targets needed to reach project goals.

Platinum Award: New York City College of Technology, Voorhees Hall Energy Performance Contract

Dewberry designed the replacement of the boiler and chiller plants in Voorhees Hall, resulting in an expected energy savings of 52% for the chiller plant and 23.5% for the boiler plant. This translates to an annual energy cost savings for the college and an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of nearly 260 tons per year. This contract was executed as part of a joint venture between Dewberry and Ramboll JV.

Silver Award: South Beach Area Street Reconstruction Final Design

Dewberry designed the reconstruction of parts of the South Beach neighborhood to reduce residential and localized flooding. This included 22,200 linear feet of curbs, sidewalks, pavements, and pavement markings; construction of 17,000 linear feet of storm sewers, 19,000 linear feet of sanitary sewers, and 17 storm chambers; and the replacement of 22,000 linear feet of water mains.

“As our communities see an increase in sea level rise, climate change, and an emphasis on energy conservation and sustainability, our team of engineers and designers must remain at the forefront of innovation,” Dewberry Senior Vice President John Boulé, P.E. said “To have our efforts, alongside those of the communities where we’re working, recognized by ACEC is truly an honor.”

P2S acquires Power Engineering Services

P2S of Long Beach, California

P2S of Long Beach, California, a leading provider of professional engineering, commissioning and construction management services for institutional, industrial and commercial clients, announced it has acquired Power Engineering Services (PES), an electrical engineering firm based in Brea, California.

PES, founded in 1981, has been serving clients in the government, institutional, commercial and private sectors providing quality, cost-effective solutions. The firm focused on developing, maintaining and commissioning modern medium and high voltage power systems and electrical infrastructure design —services that blend perfectly with those offered by P2S.

PES will continue to provide its current clients with the same exceptional service offered, along with the support and synergy of P2S and its equally outstanding and innovative engineering services.

“PES has a 39-year track record of providing electrical design for projects in higher education, healthcare, waterfront, manufacturing, and utilities,” P2S President and CEO Kevin Peterson said. “Exceptional design and client support are core values for both companies, and the acquisition enhances our engineering service offerings.”

“Joining P2S allows us to expand and accelerate design, service, and deployment of projects to our customers with much-increased bench strength and exceptional resources. We are very excited to become a valued addition to such a highly respected and quality team at P2S,” PES President Barbara Effenberger said. “PES has always drawn strength from our partners. Joining P2S is the ultimate partnership, and we’re excited to offer even greater value to our clients.”

P2S has been providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology (MEPT) engineering services for over 31 years and expands its engineering capabilities with the gained expertise of PES. PES’s services include electrical systems rated up to 132kV, cogeneration plants rated over 200MVA, distribution systems rated 66kV and below, microgrids as well as most electrical design services and studies.

Terracon acquires Illinois-based Wang Engineering


Terracon, an employee-owned firm with a long history of providing excellence in engineering consulting services, acquired Wang Engineering of Lombard, Illinois, which specializes in geotechnical engineering, construction inspection, and materials testing services.

Over the past 39 years, Wang has provided geotechnical services to a wide range of clients throughout the U.S., including state and federal government as well as the private sector. The company has extensive experience performing geotechnical services for the city of Chicago; the Illinois and Indiana departments of transportation; and on other public transportation projects, including highways, tollways, and railroads.

A subsidiary company, Wang Testing Services Inc., has been sold separately and was not purchased by Terracon as part of the acquisition. Wang Engineering and Terracon will continue to work with Wang Testing Services Inc. as a teaming partner.

“Wang is a well-respected provider of geotechnical engineering services in Illinois and Indiana with an impressive track record,” said Gayle Packer, chair, president, and CEO, Terracon. “We look forward to the addition of Wang’s highly qualified team as we expand our services to transportation and infrastructure clients.”

Wang’s 25 employees will immediately become part of Terracon. The firm will continue to operate locally as Wang Engineering Inc., a Terracon company, and the transition will be seamless for clients. The new acquisition is supported by Terracon’s existing offices in Chicago, Glendale Heights, Downers Grove, and Hartford, Illinois, as well as offices throughout Indiana and nearby states.

“Joining Terracon enables Wang to continue to provide the same high level of quality services we’ve always provided to our clients, while providing expanded access to Terracon’s national resources and expertise,” said Paul Wang, president, Wang Engineering. “We look forward to sharing our enhanced capabilities to benefit our clients.”

“As a 100 percent employee-owned firm, we feel joining with Terracon is a terrific fit with how we value our employees,” said Corina Farez, P.E., P.G., and vice president of Wang Engineering. “Our employees will continue to grow and bring new enhancements to our client relationships.”

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Fujitsu announces new rep addition

Fujitsu General America

Fujitsu General America has partnered with Target Sales as its manufacturers representative in Florida.   

Through its sales office in Tampa and four remote offices across the state, Target Sales now represents Fujitsu’s Halcyon mini-split, Airstage J-Series VRF, unitary and Westinghouse mini-split product lines. The region is under the direction of Fujitsu Regional Sales Manager Hays Bassett.

“Since 1984, Target Sales has built a reputation in Florida for providing outstanding service to the manufacturers they represent and the distributors they support,” said Dennis Stinson, Fujitsu’s vice president of sales.  “We look forward to a long and mutually prosperous partnership between Fujitsu, Target Sales and our distributors.”